How to develop an ideal customer profile

How To Develop An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Once you’ve collected data and developed your target audience you will have to find the Ideal Customer or Company profile within the target audience. This is essential to success in B2B sales and marketing.

What Is An Ideal Customer Profile?

An ICP describes the kind of company or organization that could realize the
greatest benefit from your product. It’s related to company size, budget, industry, and similar factors. An ICP is not the same thing as a buyer persona. A buyer persona, on the other hand, is about the kind of individual person who’s employed by that company. Personas are based on factors such as role, job title, function, seniority, and income. Whereas
buyer personas are useful for both B2C and B2B marketing, an ICP is specifically relevant to B2B marketers.

(Depending on the product you sell, some of these factors might be more relevant than others. For example, a payroll software supplier might be especially interested in companies above a certain employee headcount.)

The Value Of An ICP

An ideal customer profile is valuable because it helps define where you not just sell, but win. If you sell your product to every single company that can potentially afford it, you’ll experience churn and negative feedback because of the false-fit. When you have an ICP, you know what kinds of companies are worth pursuing for a successful, long-term business relationship. You will see quicker, smoother sales cycles, happier customers overall, and will benefit from higher average Annual Contract Values (ACV and Lifetime Values (LTV.

A bonus: you will be more successful selling at your desired price because you won’t be trying to strike deals with cash-strapped companies that might
benefit from your product but don’t fit the profile of a company that can realize the utmost benefit.

How To Develop Your ICP

Start looking at your past successes and failures. Which accounts have seen the most success with you? What do they have in common? Which attributes made them such a good fit? Then, go down the components list from the previous section and identify the other attributes of your ideal account based on past experience.

Example Of An ICP For A SaaS Company That Provides Customer Loyalty Solutions:

“Our ideal client is a DTC retailer with a customer service team of at least 40
people and annual revenue of at least $15M. Ideally, decision-makers are prioritizing customer loyalty.”

How To Use Your ICP For Audience Development

Once you’ve defined your ICP, you can use it to develop content that’s relevant and interesting to people at the companies you want to reach. Certain topics of interest will come up repeatedly among firms that match
your ICP. You’ll create content around those topics to draw in the right audience. Then, as you track conversions, you can measure the success of your audience development initiative based on whether your content
resonated with companies that fit your ICP.

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